I found a new hobby last night at around 10:30 p.m. I was up until 1:40 a.m. That’s just how I am…
Have you seen these photographs – Realistically Colored Historical Photographs? I saw them a few times being passed around on Facebook, and they keep popping up. Every time I click on the link and am amazed at what I see. Adding color to old black and white photographs is magical to me. There is some controversy as critics say it’s not ‘real’ or it’s changing the past. But I think it is beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, I love black and white photography. I often make my colored photos black and white to add that certain emotional effect that a black and white image has.
The fact is that color photography wasn’t widely available back then. And adding color completely changes the way I see history. It’s short-sighted, but whenever I think of history before the spread of color photography, I think of it in black and white. It’s almost as if my mind doesn’t believe there was color back then. Crazy, right?! But in all seriousness, when I see these old photographs with color – it makes the past seem more real. Does that make sense?
So being the typical person I am – I googled ‘how to colorize black and white photographs.’ After a few video tutorials, I was well on my way into colorizing my first photograph. I picked this one of two boys after searching for ‘Depression Era Photographs” in Google. I made sure the size of the image was large enough using the advanced search tools. And then I just played.
It took me a while to get used to the Bamboo Wacom tablet that I rarely use. I learned some new Photoshop shortcuts. And I learned that you really have to be patient to do this colorization. Now obviously my first photograph isn’t perfect. Looking at it now I think many of the colors are too saturated or the hue is a tad off. But at a quick glance, it looks pretty neat. I’m going to continue practicing. One thing I didn’t spend time doing was blending colors. Because our skin and clothes and environments have millions of colors, to make a colorization look rear you need to add many different shades to it. So on my next one, that’s what I’ll be practicing. For now, enjoy!
If I get really good at this, I just might turn it into a course – good idea?
Lou Gehrig’s Farewell Speech – Colorization – July 4, 1939
Here’s another one that I did this past weekend. I tried to add some more colors to Lou’s face to make it more realistic. I even used another picture of Angel Mike Trout with the sky in the background to get a realistic sky-blue.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments!
Thank you for reading this article and if you are interested in more topics like this, please subscribe to my mailing list. I don’t spam. I don’t overload you with emails. I just send out occasional emails with great tips and advice.